Crime of the week: Thefts on construction sites

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) — Thefts of power tools, copper wire and shingles from construction sites are just some of the most common items stolen from construction sites.

News Channel 6 Chief Photojournalist Joseph Saint has more to say about the crime of the week of April 22.

“Construction theft is quite common,” the sergeant said. Wichita Falls Police Department PIO Charlie Eipper said.

Last month, officers responded to a house being renovated that they suspected someone had broken into. Sure enough, what they discovered was that the suspect had entered the house through a hole in the back of the house where a window was fitted.

Once inside, the suspect searched the house for valuables and stole approximately one thousand dollars worth of copper wire. It’s more common than you might think.

“A lot of times those homes and buildings aren’t as safe as when someone lives there,” Eipper said.

This is called build theft and some of the perpetrators even own competing build teams. Suspects just show up, walk through, and take what they want. In a vacant house, there is often no one to stop them.

“Shingles or something like that can be expensive, they can turn around and use them in their own business and put them in someone else’s house and then they just reduce the cost of buying supplies,” Eipper said.

Eipper advises taking as many precautions as possible. Although cameras are a great form of security, it’s best to notify your neighbors of planned construction and the presence of workers on the property.

“You always want to make sure your neighbors know what’s going on, that you have some in the neighborhood who are always watching, using cameras,” Eipper said. “Technology these days is so much more accessible and always make sure you file a police report.”

“If suspicious items have been stolen again, report them,” Eipper said. “Ensure your items are marked in some way, this will be crucial in our report and investigations.

Copyright 2022 KAUZ. All rights reserved.

Alice F. Ponder